At least 24 Iraqis have been killed and dozens of others wounded in Baghdad as rains of mortar and rocket attacks started hitting the country since polling stations opened early Sunday.
Sixteen people were killed when two buildings in the capital were blown up in what appeared to be dynamite, AFP reported.
Four more were killed by mortar attacks in Baghdad and four others by bombs that wounded 40, the officials said.
Roadside bombs also wounded two individuals in the capital and three others near the City of Tikrit.
Fallujah, Baquba, Samarra and other cities across the country were also hit by mortar rounds or bombs, many of them exploding near polling stations.
However, there were no immediate reports of casualties on the latter cases.
Some 200,000 Iraqi police and soldiers are on duty in Baghdad alone, and the country’s borders and its airports have been shut for the day with all vehicles banned from the streets.
On Friday, Iraqi insurgents threatened to kill voters during the elections.
Iraqi Baathists, whose Saddam-linked party candidates were banned by the Iraqi authorities but backed by the US, as well as the anti-Shia al-Qaeda militants, are believed to be behind the bombing attacks during today’s elections.
Almost 20 million voters are eligible to turn out for the elections, only the second vote for a full term of parliament since the 2003 US-led invasion.